What to Know
Two of the tri-state area’s most-wanted fugitives are women who attacked police officers, now officials are looking to bring them to justice
Donna Joan Borup allegedly threw acid into a crowd that included police during an anti-apartheid protest at JFK Airport nearly 40 years ago
Joanne Chesimard and two others shot and killed a New Jersey State Trooper "execution style"
Two of the tri-state area’s most-wanted fugitives are women who attacked police officers. One is accused of helping to assassinate an officer at point blank range. The other is accused of partially blinding a cop by throwing acid in his eyes. The FBI and police are making a new push to try to catch the two.
The FBI released a new computerized image of Donna Joan Borup this week showing what she may look like now nearly 40 years after she allegedly attacked Port Authority Police Officer Evan Goodstein. Officials said Borup was part of an extremist communist group that tried to start a riot at Kennedy Airport by allegedly throwing acid into a crowd that included police during an anti-apartheid protest.
“That was one of the devices that they used,” said Port Authority Police Superintendent Edward Cetnar. “It struck him and it caused him to go blind in one eye.” Borup was one of several “May 19 Communists” arrested in the incident, but she later jumped bail. The FBI believes she fled from Queens to Canada back in 1981. They believe for years has been hiding in Central America.
“We will not forget she is a fugitive from justice,” Cetnar said as Port Authority detectives continue to work with the FBI to try to develop leads on her whereabouts. The FBI said it is announcing a $100,000 reward for information leading to Borup's capture this ‘Police Week’ – a week meant to highlight the dangers and sacrifice of police officers make.
“We don’t forget and the question that folks ask is ‘but this was so long ago, let bygones be bygones.’ Absolutely not — everyone is accountable for their actions,” said FBI New York Director William Sweeney. He said Borup needs to face justice for the harm she caused. “If you put yourself in the perspective of the victim, what would you expect us to do and we as a community should be doing the same for this officer.”
Goodstein declined to speak for this story but is in regular contact with authorities working the case. “The agents and detectives that have worked this have obviously changed but that doesn’t mean the passion changes and we keep on searching.”
Paul Nunziato, head of the Port Authority PBA called Borup a "domestic terrorist" who got away. “The pain and suffering she caused a police officer and his family has not diminished decades later, and neither should her punishment, if found guilty.”
The FBI is highlighting another woman who is on their list of most wanted terrorists. Convicted cop killer Joanne Chesimard is still believed to be hiding in Cuba – decades after she helped shoot and kill a New Jersey State Trooper on the Turnpike.
“She’s a convicted killer and we would like to have her returned to the U.S. to finish the remainder of her sentence,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan. Chesimard is part of a crew of Black Liberation Army members linked to numerous shootings and bank robberies. In 1973, she and two others shot and killed Trooper Werner Foerester during a traffic stop.
The group shot him at point blank range after he was wounded on the ground from the initial volley of shots. The suspects “took his service revolver from his holster and shot him execution style,” Callahan said.
Despite her conviction, Chesimard claims she played no role in the shooting of the officer that night. In an interview with WNBC from Cuba in 1988 “I was shot with my arms in the air and then shot in the back and then left on the ground to die,” she said.
Chesimard was tried and convicted but escaped in 1979 from a New Jersey prison. To date Cuban authorities have refused to turn her over to the U.S. to serve her prison sentence.
“Joanne Chesimard is a designated domestic terrorist,” said Greg Ehrie, head of the New Jersey FBI office. Ehrie said Chesimard’s ongoing attempts to politicize her story misses the point. “Anyone else would have faced the same conviction and the same trial and the same outcome. Ms. Chesimard needs to understand that and she needs to answer for her crimes.
Ehrie said the State Department continues to try to press the Cuban regime to turn her over to face justice. He said the FBI continues to try to monitor her movements and hopes a $2 million dollar reward will someday lead to her capture and return to a U.S. prison.